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WotC halts PDF sales


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Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:
I know. I was referring to the infamous TSR/Lucasfilm Nazi(TM) legend.

I don't think I've heard this legend.

Draws up a comfy chair near the dragon.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
yoda8myhead wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Add: To bring Amazon back into it, if I was a 4e customer, would this move really force me into my FLGS more often by getting me off pdfs through online stores and onto the paper copies? Probably not--I'd just do more business with Amazon, and I bet that would be true of a lot of customers.
It looks like their new Internet Sales Policy will shut out Amazon, won't it?

I think you might be right. It depends what they mean by "physical location" in their online retailer policy. If that means a warehouse, it's not very restrictive, but if it means one must have a brick and mortar retail store, I think Amazon wouldn't qualify. I actually like that they are trying to (or claiming to) support small gaming stores. I love that. But there are ways to do so without alienating fans of the game who would otherwise pay you money without drinking the 4e kool-aid, and to not restrict the world's largest bookseller from distributing your materials.

Luckily, I've been buying hard copies on ebay of the older books I was interested in so I have no pdf's to scramble to get. Still, knowing that this will be the only way to ever get that 2e supplement I didn't know I wanted could get costly, especially since it will make physical copies worth more on the secondary market.

Am I the only person that thinks that cutting Amazon out of the equation would harm them in the long run?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
I know. I was referring to the infamous TSR/Lucasfilm Nazi(TM) legend.

I don't think I've heard this legend.

Draws up a comfy chair near the dragon.

Way back in days gone by, TSR made an Indiana Jones game, with little cardboard markers. One of them had a picture of an extra from the movie in a Nazi uniform. Under it was written 'Nazi(tm)' What it was supposed to mean was the image of that guy, from Raiders of the Lost Ark, was part of Lucasfilm's IP, and thus trademarked. What it was read as was that TSR was trying to trademark the TERM Nazi. It didn't help when it was explained, 'No no, that's Lucas' trademark.'

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. Sean, Lisa, and Vic all date back that far :P

Similar Lucas Hijinks include threatinging FASA with a cease and desist order to stop using the term 'BattleDroids' Thus BattleTech was born.

Paizo Employee Developer

Also, is it even legally possible for a publisher to disallow someone from selling their product? Whether it's retail or second-hand, it seems to me that if someone (an individual or company) buys a book (one copy or larger stock) that they can sell it or not sell it at their own discretion. So how can WotC restrict online sales of their hardcopy books?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Kevin Mack wrote:
Am I the only person that thinks that cutting Amazon out of the equation would harm them in the long run?

No, as I noted on the WotC forums - which are even more up-in-arms than here, actually (and for once, bar the usual obligatroy one or two folks who like to debate for the sake of it, pretty much unified) - it would seem to me to be getting close to commercial sucide surely.

Heck, we in Derby came so, soo close to losing the only comic store - which happens to have a small RPG section - we have, so if we can't buy from Amazon (where the only one of us who buys 4E stuff gets it) and Forbidden Planet goes back under again (a frightening and plausible but hopefully unlikely event) what then?

WotC seems to specialise at slowly but surely alienating their old customers one by one. All they need to do now is pull a 'SyFy' (snort) and they'll be about complete...

Taldor

*seething consumer outrage*


chopswil wrote:


How is this better for WoTC?

Well, they reduce availability to earlier editions. That has three possible outcomes:

  • You do without the stuff, and wizard gets to laugh at you and your diminished hobby
  • You switch to 4e because you can get new stuff for it (though 3e/PF won't die out any time soon. I'm sure they really hate the way the OGL can't be taken away), and they get new drones
  • You resort to illegal stuff, and they get to tell everybody that those who don't play real D&D (as opposed to 4e) are hardened criminals.

    Charlie Brooks wrote:


    These last few years have really started me thinking that Hasbro acquiring WotC is one of the worst things that could have happened to the RPG industry. For all their resources, they seem willfully ignorant of the kind of people that buy D&D products. At some point, that will end up hurting the brand, if it hasn't done so already.

    I think we're past that.

    I'm pretty sure that if they didn't behave as if they wanted to win the Corporate Jerks of the Aeon contest, they'd have lost a lot less customers over their decisions and attitude the last couple of years.

    derek_cleric wrote:
    We've all been been told at one time or anothing in our lives, "if you can't say anything good, you shouldn't say anything at all"

    Never believed in that. Heat and kitchen and all that. Important to let people know when they screw up. Otherwise they think they're great and never get better.

    Of course, wizards probably knows quite well what they're doing, and like it.

    Dan Davis wrote:


    So now they've angered 4E players

    Only the non-fanboys, and I think those are unwanted, anyway.

    David Fryer wrote:
    There for if the illegal uploads in question don't have such a watermark then it couldn't have come from one of those sources.

    Unless someone removed them. It's not quite impossible.

    David Fryer wrote:
    The press release seems like they know who was responsible, so why is there a need o punish the rest of us?

    Probably to make us hate the evil software pirates who made wizards employees go without food and shelter. Or some crap like that.


  • Yet another reason why not to support anything by WotC anymore. They must have a lot of kerosene handy, because they continue to burn bridges with their antics. I am angry though I will not be able to purchase PDFs of some of the books I wanted now thanks to their continued business decisions.
    Their tactics must have come from Microsoft, because MS did the same thing when the XBox 360 came out (dropped all support for the XBox when the new model came out, even if you had purchased it the day before). Then, they made sure that the previous games you had shelled out tons of money for would not be backwards compatible without an XBox Live subscription so you could download the drivers.
    Is it something in the water in Washington state? Or are they just trying to run WotC into the ground as a tax write off for Hasbro? (I'm an accountant, I think of things like that now.) It seems to me they could have just as easily kept support for previous editions going because the huge amount of support still being shown for it, and there would always be writers for new content. After all, car companies don't quit making parts for last years model when the new one comes out. They could have continued to make available the older editions (at least 3.5) and make money on them. Dropping all support for the previous edition and then continuing to kill the sales from previous editions was simply a stupid business move. Let the players decide when a previous edition is no longer valid, because they are your income, and they make their wishes known with money. When something no longer makes money, then, and only then, is it time to put it out to pasture.
    BTW thanks Paizo, your stuff is awesome. Your service and goodies you let us players have for free {Beta, guides, etc.} make supporting you worth while.

    Cheliax

    Aotrscommander wrote:

    Heck, we in Derby came so, soo close to losing the only comic store - which happens to have a small RPG section - we have, so if we can't buy from Amazon (where the only one of us who buys 4E stuff gets it) and Forbidden Planet goes back under again (a frightening and plausible but hopefully unlikely event) what then?

    Well, fortunately for me, my local Barnes and Noble is carrying 4e stuff, so I could get it there, but it would be a lot more expensive then buying it from Amazon.


    Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

    Hey, Kevin. I'm not sure if you're misunderstanding me or I'm misunderstanding you. My original attempt in this vein was to try to understand the cutting of pdf sales (in part) in light of the release about supporting local gaming stores (No pdfs = Buying books from FLGS). But then my observation was that, if I were a still a regular Wizards customer (I only buy minis now), this would not be likely to drive me to purchase from the LGS instead of from Paizo or DriveThruRPG or somebody else's online store. Instead, it would just increase my trade through Amazon. I'm pretty sure this would be true of many other customers, so it seems understanding this as a part of the explanation fails.

    I didn't mean to imply anything about eliminating Amazon as a seller of Wizards' products. For a publisher, this would be like refusing to sell beef to McDonalds. I hope that clears up what I was saying, and sorry if I only muddied what you were trying to say.

    Paizo Employee Developer

    If Amazon can't sell the books as an "authorized online retailer" that leads me to believe that Paizo can't either.

    I've said it many times before, but I'll say it again. What the f$#~ is WotC thinking?!


    Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
    Matthew Morris wrote:
    I know. I was referring to the infamous TSR/Lucasfilm Nazi(TM) legend.

    I don't think I've heard this legend.

    Draws up a comfy chair near the dragon.

    I heard one about them trying to trademark "dragon"

    Kevin Mack wrote:


    Am I the only person that thinks that cutting Amazon out of the equation would harm them in the long run?

    In the long run? See if the next 4e book won't tank.

    And I'm not sure if Amazon won't simply decide to stop selling anything hasbro.


    Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
    Matthew Morris wrote:


    Way back in days gone by, TSR made an Indiana Jones game, with little cardboard markers. One of them had a picture of an extra from the movie in a Nazi uniform. Under it was written 'Nazi(tm)' What it was supposed to mean was the image of that guy, from Raiders of the Lost Ark, was part of Lucasfilm's IP, and thus trademarked. What it was read as was that TSR was trying to trademark the TERM Nazi. It didn't help when it was explained, 'No no, that's Lucas' trademark.'

    Oh my goodness, I'd forgotten all about that. Thanks, Matthew. And pass the Gingko Biloba.

    Oh no. Now I don't understand what Yoda is saying. Time for second cup of coffee.


    David Fryer wrote:
    Well, fortunately for me, my local Barnes and Noble is carrying 4e stuff, so I could get it there, but it would be a lot more expensive then buying it from Amazon.

    Well, I guess with the new hoops they have to jump through (even if that's only an excuse for exploiting the new monopoly), they will mark up the prices some more.

    Cheliax

    Oh crap! I thought i was safe because i didn't buy any WotC products, but i forgot i got oDnD! I better download that fast!

    Edit: Apparently i'm too late.. DrivethruRPG apparently already took them down :'(

    Damn you WotC.. just damn you..

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

    David Fryer wrote:
    Aotrscommander wrote:

    Heck, we in Derby came so, soo close to losing the only comic store - which happens to have a small RPG section - we have, so if we can't buy from Amazon (where the only one of us who buys 4E stuff gets it) and Forbidden Planet goes back under again (a frightening and plausible but hopefully unlikely event) what then?

    Well, fortunately for me, my local Barnes and Noble is carrying 4e stuff, so I could get it there, but it would be a lot more expensive then buying it from Amazon.

    I 'spose we could use Waterstones, but that's still not supporting the local gaming store (which is presumably what WotC wants) is it? If I were (slightly more) cynical, I'd say WotC were out to target Amazon and the like specifically (it was like 25% cheaper than a store when I was buying 3.5 stuff - that's a HELL of lot if you don't have a lot of money). But that would seem to be so stupid a move as to beggar belief. But then again, given recent events...

    If the whole store-front thing is to preserve the FLGS, then, sorry WotC, but you're a bit late - at least in the UK. We in Derby have not had a FLGS. EVER. We've had shops that sold RPG books for decades, but not in the 18-odd years I've been playing a store really ran by gamers. (Argueably, the closest that I know of would be Spirit Games who, as I recall at least at one point supplied the Derby store.) Internet selling is the way to go for hobbies, nowadays. Ye gods, even DRM-dozy EA have started to release digital-only stuff (Red Alert 3 Uprising). Anyway, this is slightly tangential stupidity to WotC's PDF stupidity...

    Andoran

    Nothing Hasbro-WOTC does can surprise me anymore...


    Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

    Continues to fail check.
    How would Wizards be targeting Amazon?

    Taldor

    I think WotC is sometimes just as surprised by their actions as we are. I'm of the opinion that the most ludicrous of moves, like this PDF midnight raid, derive from Hasbro execs. Much like the problem last year when WotC couldn't be a part of GenCon because Hasbro policy was to not do business with companies in bankruptcy proceedings. Too big of a company with no one watching the details.

    Of course, this also validates any company's balking at the GSL limitations that anything could be pulled at any time.

    [drippingsarcasm]

    Gee, they would never do something that drastic, would they?!

    [/drippingsarcasm]

    Pardon me, I seem to be dripping.

    Paizo continues to amaze me with their commitment to the business and the customer. Their response and support at a zero hour only speaks greater praise to their character when faced with a less-than-fair situation. Kudos to them all and the late night I'm sure many of them pulled to keep the severs from melting. ;)

    Cheliax

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Mairkurion {tm} wrote:

    Hey, Kevin. I'm not sure if you're misunderstanding me or I'm misunderstanding you. My original attempt in this vein was to try to understand the cutting of pdf sales (in part) in light of the release about supporting local gaming stores (No pdfs = Buying books from FLGS). But then my observation was that, if I were a still a regular Wizards customer (I only buy minis now), this would not be likely to drive me to purchase from the LGS instead of from Paizo or DriveThruRPG or somebody else's online store. Instead, it would just increase my trade through Amazon. I'm pretty sure this would be true of many other customers, so it seems understanding this as a part of the explanation fails.

    I didn't mean to imply anything about eliminating Amazon as a seller of Wizards' products. For a publisher, this would be like refusing to sell beef to McDonalds. I hope that clears up what I was saying, and sorry if I only muddied what you were trying to say.

    What I said was only supposed to be a hypothetical situation.

    Cheliax

    yoda8myhead wrote:

    If Amazon can't sell the books as an "authorized online retailer" that leads me to believe that Paizo can't either.

    A careful rereading of the online retailer stuff seems to indicate that it is directed at Magic, not at D&D.

    Wizards of the Coast wrote:

    This year’s Magic From the Vault release will be the exclusive Retailer Rewards product for 2009, and the free point-of-purchase promotion will start with the Magic 2010 Core Set.

    In conjunction with the Retailer Rewards program, Wizards of the Coast will also release a new Internet Sales Policy on April 6. The new policy will have clear guidelines for online sales of Wizards’ product, and requires that retailers register with Wizards by signing an Authorized Internet Dealer Agreement.

    And then from the agreement itself:

    Wizards of the Coast wrote:
    You will purchase Magic Products only from an Authorized Distributor or Wizards directly, and not from other sources (including the secondary and gray markets).

    After reading the whole agreement, there is no mention of any WoTC product but Magic. Plus Amazon is still listing 4e products on their site, so I think they are okay.

    Cheliax

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

    [sarcasm]

    Blame piracy and punish the legitimate customer - their sales can't possibly be down because of a recession of epic proportions, increased marketplace competition, and all around blah reviews of the 4E game system in general - it's gotta be the pirates!!!

    [/sarcasm]

    Cheliax

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    KaeYoss wrote:
    chopswil wrote:


    How is this better for WoTC?

    Well, they reduce availability to earlier editions. That has three possible outcomes:

  • You do without the stuff, and wizard gets to laugh at you and your diminished hobby
  • You switch to 4e because you can get new stuff for it (though 3e/PF won't die out any time soon. I'm sure they really hate the way the OGL can't be taken away), and they get new drones
  • You resort to illegal stuff, and they get to tell everybody that those who don't play real D&D (as opposed to 4e) are hardened criminals.
  • I can maybe see cutting the source of 3/3.5e stuff to drive you to 4e, but hardly think that people say "Hmmm, S1 Tomb of Horrors or 4e PHB"

    If you want 13/2e/3.5e, you'll find it.

    This isn't like General Motors buying up the LA trolly to force people to buy cars, there are other ways to go.

    In today's economic times, is cutting off a known source of revenue a smart thing?
    I'd say no.
    The dollars they loose from PDFs won't be made up in 4e physical book sales.

    Andoran

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

    I personally would have blamed the nijas. :)

    Paizo Employee Developer

    Mairkurion {tm} wrote:

    Continues to fail check.

    How would Wizards be targeting Amazon?

    Their newly implemented "Online Retailer Policy" indicates that one can only sell WotC products online if they have a brick & mortar game store as well as an online storefront. It's a little confusing, and only mentions MTG by name, but it also says that one must comply with the policy to be an "authorized internet retailer" of "Wizards of the Coast products" (which I assume includes all their brands and trademarks) so I dunno.

    See the full policy here.


    Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
    David Fryer wrote:
    -Explanatory Stuff-

    Thanks, David. I think now I see where the confusion was coming in. Magic is off the radar for me, so I wasn't paying any attention to that stuff.

    ADD: Yoda, thanks too.


    Blaming 'pirates' is one problem, not advising the general public first is a greater one.

    Wotc has not learnt this lesson.

    Oh well...

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

    Mairkurion {tm} wrote:

    Continues to fail check.

    How would Wizards be targeting Amazon?

    That comes from someone pointing out text on this link, specifically this section:

    Retailer Online page wrote:

    To sign up for the Internet Retailer Program, you will need to send the following:

    A signed contract, which you can find here: Authorized Internet Retailer Agreement. Please read the contract over carefully and fill it out completely and legibly.
    A copy of your Business License, Sales Tax License, or other physical document that shows you are in business. If this is already on file with Wizards, check with your Direct Sales or Merchant Relations rep to see if it’s up to date.
    Pictures (digital or hardcopy) of your brick and mortar retail store’s:
    Storefront, including signage
    Point of sale or cash register area
    Merchandising or main product display area

    Emphasis mine.

    As on this page itself, it doesn't mention any product line specifically I can see (not that I've read it in detail), someone mentioned that it might apply to D&D products. Note, I'm just reporting where this line of thought comes from, I'm no legal expert, nor have I looked at this in detail.

    As I say, I'm not so sure that interpretation would actually be true in practice, because to really cut out one of (if not the largest) book retailers would seem to be utter madness.

    If they really are that stupid - and given the PDF fiasco I'm unhappily willing to admit that they might, repeat might be capable of being so willfully cretinous - what next? Perhaps they'll go after ebay next...Wouldn't want those second hand books floating around when you can force people to buy new ones, would we?
    (I should note I'm being slightly facieous here. WotC wouldn't be really likely to try that...would they?)

    Edit: ninja'd. Shouldn't be so longwinded all the time...

    Qadira

    Aotrscommander wrote:


    If the whole store-front thing is to preserve the FLGS, then, sorry WotC, but you're a bit late - at least in the UK. We in Derby have not had a FLGS. EVER. We've had shops that sold RPG books for decades, but not in the 18-odd years I've been playing a store really ran by gamers. (Argueably, the closest that I know of would be Spirit Games who, as I recall at least at one point supplied the Derby store.) Internet selling is the way to go for hobbies, nowadays. Ye gods, even DRM-dozy EA have started to release digital-only stuff (Red Alert 3 Uprising). Anyway, this is slightly tangential stupidity to WotC's PDF stupidity...

    Well given I game every week with the ex manager of Travelling Man Derby I'd say you're wrong about not having had a LGS.


    WOW...just...wow. I check my e-mail this morning to find an e-mail from Paizo telling me WoTC pulled all of its PDFs from retail sites. All I can do is shake my head. It's as if they fired anyone they had left in their PR department. At first I thought this was some hair-brained effort to force customers to buy PDFs directly from them. But no, it isn't even raw greed we can chalk this up to. WoTC has proven they are officially stuck on Chaotic Stupid.

    It would seem they just slapped all of the 3rd party publishers in the face with this stunt. After making a big deal out of changing their license to encourage more 3rd party publishers (the majority of whom do the bulk of their business in PDF) to support 4E, they pull the rug out from under 4E digital support.

    I am so glad we never took the bait.

    If I can make a completely shameless plug, I've placed all of our Karma Roleplaying System supplements on sale at 10% off at RPGNOW. Not wanting to overly stir the pot, since I realize Paizo and RPGNOW are probably trying to get WoTC to at least let legitimate customers access their legally purchased PDFs, I refrained from dubbing it a "SCREW WOTC SALE." But should the guys at Paizo decide that WoTC isn't budging, and that such a sales promotion would be appropriate...

    http://www.rpgnow.com/index.php?cPath=4379


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Modules Subscriber
    yoda8myhead wrote:
    Mairkurion {tm} wrote:

    Continues to fail check.

    How would Wizards be targeting Amazon?
    Their newly implemented "Online Retailer Policy" indicates that one can only sell WotC products online if they have a brick & mortar game store as well as an online storefront. It's a little confusing, and only mentions MTG by name, but it also says that one must comply with the policy to be an "authorized internet retailer" of "Wizards of the Coast products" (which I assume includes all their brands and trademarks) so I dunno.

    As a ancient relic from the chainmail days....the evolution of Wizards

    has become the ......hmmmmm like (@#%@#$@##&@%##@*@&#^)...can't say it
    in regular english. But The golden days of Wizards is waning.....sorry waned.
    I for one will not endorse 4E scat.....as my guild has voted. they will not either.....Pazio has the right stuff.....and this move by Wizards has put several nails in there coffin.....
    Its a money grab.......and leveraging as quoted...to funnel gamers to 4e........
    well.......my gold is limited.....and 3e is where stops
    maybe in 1-2 years......i will pick 4e copies for 50 cents in the bargin bin

    Pazio....is the new wizards.......until they 4E.......


    I'll venture a prediction.

    Sometime in the near future, WOTC will announce the availability of 4e books (and possibly, but with lesser probablity 3.5) available through them exclusively.

    The material will be through a subscription-only mechanism, assuring that while previously one could make a one-time purchase, the new system will ensure ongoing money flowing to WOTC. The predicted form of the material will be either on-line only, or heavily DRM'd.

    If I had to guess at the form, I'd guess that the Compendium will be enlarged to have more complete material. (such that everything that could be learned from a book could be learned from the compendium).

    This fits in with how WOTC previously screwed over Paizo on Dungeon and Dragon magazine.

    I'd bet that if they do so, they will sell less copies then they would through a wide distribution system, but they will reap all of the income, instead of a royalty-sized slice. Metaphorically giving up a single slice of a large pie for the entirety of a smaller pie.


    crmanriq wrote:

    I'll venture a prediction.

    Sometime in the near future, WOTC will announce the availability of 4e books (and possibly, but with lesser probablity 3.5) available through them exclusively.

    This was pretty much what I assumed had happened when I got Paizo's e-mail.


    Disclaimer the following post is HUMOR!

    "Hello All, My name is Blah McStrongarm and im one of the men in black representing company X which has recently been responsible for making RPG 156th Edition. Our sales are not living up to our standards at the moment, and we expected the shine to last forever.

    Awhile ago we decided to shoot our left foot by making a draconic license thereby fracturing what was already a niche market to begin with. This way we could possibly force... err "aggressively market" to the lemmings.... err people to buy our official product and hopefully assimilate most of the market!
    Can you believe our sales are still not what we expected? How could this not work? Why did all the 3PPs BETRAY US and move on with other products? Werent our scraps enough?

    Thankfully our market research has led us to our next exciting corporate strategy! Why limp on one foot when we can smoke past everyone on a shiny new wheelchair! So we will now amputate our Right foot and stop all Brand X PDF sales! Why should anyone but us make money on discontinued and/or mothballed PDFs when we cant make anything on those either?
    This will sooooo force everyone back into our good graces now, Ill see you all back on our cheese line! Our shoes need shining!

    Umm.... if you all dont like our policies... its umm.... because of PIRACY! Yeah, thats it, Piracy, woot! a new Internet Buzzword! We rock! Cant have Piracy cutting into our print sales! Oh, and say no to Drugs! And remember to floss between downloads!

    Anyway, this should get our sales back up so HQ wont install a new guillotine at our offices."


    Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
    Aotrscommander wrote:
    snip

    Thanks. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say (assuming something's not being missed among the legalese that clearly restricts all of this to Magic) that any wording that would imply that Wizards is not going to sell 4e through Amazon has just got to be a goof.

    Cheliax

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    crmanriq wrote:


    I'd bet that if they do so, they will sell less copies then they would through a wide distribution system, but they will reap all of the income, instead of a royalty-sized slice. Metaphorically giving up a single slice of a large pie for the entirety of a smaller pie.

    As a busniess would you want 1000 products sold with 90% of the money going back to you or 100 products with 100% of the money going back to you?

    Most would want the 1000 products.

    If you make it hard for people to find and buy your stuff they will go elesewhere.

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

    Mark Peyton wrote:
    Well given I game every week with the ex manager of Travelling Man Derby I'd say you're wrong about not having had a LGS.

    I'd actually forgotten about Travelling Man. Fair point. Actually, didn't they even have some sort of game days or something, come to think of it? Another World/Forbidden Planet never has to my knowledge(mainly 'cos RPGs are just a small sideline for them).

    But, I'm dragging the whole topic waaay off course with my random blither again. (I have a tendancy to do that unintentionally with my throw-away comments, sorry.)

    Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
    Aotrscommander wrote:
    snip
    Thanks. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that (assuming something's not be missed among the legalese that clearly restricts all of this to Magic) that any wording that would imply that Wizards is not going to sell 4e through Amazon has just got to be a goof.

    My thoughts exactly.

    Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

    Bardsandsages wrote:
    crmanriq wrote:

    I'll venture a prediction.

    Sometime in the near future, WOTC will announce the availability of 4e books (and possibly, but with lesser probablity 3.5) available through them exclusively.

    This was pretty much what I assumed had happened when I got Paizo's e-mail.

    And then 3 months later they'll announce that due to technical limitations, they won't actually be able to sell their pdfs yet, but in the meantime, they'll put images of the covers of their pdf products on a webpage for you to look at. Then 6 months after that, they'll simply cancel the entire pdf program without explanation.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    James Martin wrote:
    What gets me is their execution. Time and again now I keep seeing decisions made with really poor execution: The timing of the announcment of 4e a year before it was ready, the Digital Initiative mismanagement, the GSL hot potato mess, and now this, the Great PDF Pull of 2009. All of the above aren't bad business decisions, but they're executed in what can only be described as amateurish and silly ways.

    What gets me is how amazingly consistent WotC is about alienating their customers. It's like they're run by the guys in Dilbert. The odds are that they'd come up with a good PR idea once in a while just by chance.

    The irony is that, when 4e first broke and people objected, one of the pro-WotC arguments was that if you liked 3.x you could just keep playing it. After all, WotC wasn't coming to your house and taking away the books you'd already bought.

    Only now they actually kind of just have.


    The whole thing just strikes me as odd...

    According to the press release, Wizards of the Coast is filing lawsuits against eight individuals (from the U.S., Poland, and the Philippines) for copyright infringement by pirating the Player's Handbook 2 through free file-sharing websites, likely hurting their sales of the sourcebook.

    Makes sense so far...

    Now, Paizo--and other online retailers of WOTC-published/owned material, I assume--are no longer able to offer sales and downloads of PDF-files of said material. (I am not clear as to whether the decision to cease sales of WOTC PDFs was demanded by WOTC or was voluntary, though.)

    Hmm...

    Unless I miss my guess, we are in the 21st century, and internet sales serve many companies who publish/sell published material an amazing source of revenue, even if only through downloads for sale. So, while future releases of WOTC-owned PDFs might be held from online retailers until physical copies were distributed to stores (to potentially abate releasing early material), discontinuing the sales of WOTC-owned PDFs of already existing products--particularly those from discontinued product lines owned by WOTC--seems not only ineffectual, but foolish. This would be particularly true for a retailer such as Paizo, which appears to have been heavily involved with WOTC in the past, unless a member of the Paizo community were one of the defendants whom WOTC is suing. (While non-disclosure would keep this information private, I'm sure, the likelihood seems very remote.)

    While I'm sure WOTC's intention behind such a move is to counter efforts on the part of pirates from releasing their material upon file-sharing sites, this all seems a bit backwards. First, if the impetus behind their initiative to cease sales of their PDFs from Paizo's website was the pirating of the 4E Player's Handbook 2, why place Paizo in a position where they must cease sales of PDFs, if (as I think was mentioned in this thread) the 4E Player's Handbook 2--and other WOTC-owned 4E material--were not even for sale on the site? Second, if the material was leaked via file-sharing sites, shouldn't WOTC (and, in my opinion, online retailers everywhere) go after these pirates and their sites, instead of punishing the legitimate retailers following the law? An ambitious proposal, I know, but again, in my opinion, these file-sharing/"torrent" sites should be shut down flatly, considering how much piracy takes place upon them.

    Hopefully, Wizards of the Coast will come to terms with this financial hurdle, and return to supporting the retailers of their fine products soon.


    Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

    Jo-an...a...I...love..you
    r post

    Spoiler:

    Sorry. Couldn't help myself. Seriously, great point.


    Hasbro, please hurry up and sell the D&D brand to someone other than WotC. I mean, anybody . . .


    Lance Hawvermale wrote:
    Hasbro, please hurry up and sell the D&D brand to someone other than WotC. I mean, anybody . . .

    Anybody...except GM.

    Though maybe we should send the people that run WoTC to the White House for a little sit down with Obama. You know they have gamer geeks in his admnistration.


    Hierophantasm wrote:

    Hopefully, Wizards of the Coast will come to terms with this financial hurdle, and return to supporting the retailers of their fine products soon.

    I do hope the last statement is in sarcasm, because, in my opinion, when WotC created that game they slapped the D&D name on and called it the 4th edition they lost any aspect of "fine products" they once had. Then again, that is just my opinion. I am sure 4e has its supporters, I for one am not amongst them.

    And whilst I do not like 4e, the decision they made to kill PDF sales is extremely stupid and shortsighted. I could at least continue to somewhat support WotC with previous edition purchases, now I can longer even do that.
    Good job WotC, you're definately doing your part to help give Hasbro a huge moneysink to give them a break in their corporate taxes. Nothing like an unprofitable business to give you constant losses to help offset the IRS.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

    Well it's a good thing I decided to log on during lunch and check paizo out. All the money I spent on all those PDFs would have gone to waste. Sigh.

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

    Lance Hawvermale wrote:
    Hasbro, please hurry up and sell the D&D brand to someone other than WotC. I mean, anybody . . .

    Where do you think these ideas come from?

    Not to mention the entire 'punish the innocent and still not hit the guilty' shotgun approach.


    Hierophantasm wrote:
    Second, if the material was leaked via file-sharing sites, shouldn't WOTC (and, in my opinion, online retailers everywhere) go after these pirates and their sites, instead of punishing the legitimate retailers following the law? An ambitious proposal, I know, but again, in my opinion, these file-sharing/"torrent" sites should be shut down flatly, considering how much piracy takes place upon them.

    In an ideal world, sure, they should. Realistically, though, that's not going to happen. Even if you manage to shut down one site (which is difficult enough in itself - check out the currently ongoing trial against The Pirate Bay which could take up to six years including appeals), there'll always be dozens of others waiting to fill the vacancy. And then there's UseNet, which is effectively impossible to control.

    The fact is that as the music and video game industries have had to learn the hard way over the past decade or so, aggressive strategies like lawsuits, DRM, controlled distribution and such are not just completely ineffective - they're actually worse, because they mostly result in considerable annoyances for the legitimate customers.

    In my opinion, the best way to deal with piracy is not trying to limit the supply, but rather the demand. If you make people want to buy your products by providing high quality value and content, maintain good customer relations, and building company loyalty, they'll be much less prepared to pirate your stuff. That's what makes WotC's decision in this situation that much more bone-headed, because they're doing the complete opposite.


    Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
    Joana wrote:


    The irony is that, when 4e first broke and people objected, one of the pro-WotC arguments was that if you liked 3.x you could just keep playing it. After all, WotC wasn't coming to your house and taking away the books you'd already bought.

    Only now they actually kind of just have.

    It's like your worst dreams come true.


    Joana wrote:
    James Martin wrote:
    What gets me is their execution. Time and again now I keep seeing decisions made with really poor execution: The timing of the announcment of 4e a year before it was ready, the Digital Initiative mismanagement, the GSL hot potato mess, and now this, the Great PDF Pull of 2009. All of the above aren't bad business decisions, but they're executed in what can only be described as amateurish and silly ways.

    What gets me is how amazingly consistent WotC is about alienating their customers. It's like they're run by the guys in Dilbert. The odds are that they'd come up with a good PR idea once in a while just by chance.

    The irony is that, when 4e first broke and people objected, one of the pro-WotC arguments was that if you liked 3.x you could just keep playing it. After all, WotC wasn't coming to your house and taking away the books you'd already bought.

    Only now they actually kind of just have.

    I had completely forgotten that statement somehow. It did come up a lot.

    As far as I know WoTC does not even get money from 3rd edition anymore because the pdf sales should go to the selling company, and the physical books are out of print, unless they get a cut of every pdf book sold. I have no idea what this is supposed to accomplish.
    I can only assume they will try to sell them(pdfs) from their site eventually since the 3.x sells are not dying down as quickly as they thought, and they now want to get the money themselves.
    A "You can't have it even though I can't use it" attitude has not been seen by me since I was a small child so I am sure, or at least I would like to beleive there is a bigger plot behind all this.

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